Top 3 kids games
1. Mr. Shark
One player is Mr. Shark and sits on the edge of the pool, facing away from everyone. Players ask, “Mr. Shark, what time is it?” Mr. Shark says, “It’s __ o’clock.” The players get that many strokes to swim to the other side of the pool. Or they can say: “Dinner time,” “Lunchtime” or “Midnight.” Mr. Shark then turns around, jumps in the pool and tries tagging the other players. If one gets tagged, they become the shark.
2. Sharks and Minnows
Place your “shark” on one end of the pool, and the rest of the players become minnows and start on the opposite end. The shark says, “Fishy, fishy, cross my ocean,” and the minnows swim across. The shark then yells, “Shark attack” and tags a minnow, turning them into a shark. The last minnow swimming wins and starts the next round as a shark.
3. Underwater obstacle course
Set up pool noodles and floaties around your pool to form an obstacle course. Have players swim under or through the obstacles. For a challenge, time each person or have them see how far they can get through the course with one breath.
Top 3 family-friendly games
1. Chicken fight
Find four players and create two teams. On each team, one person balances on the other person’s shoulders. Once up, each team tries to knock down the other team to become the winner.
2. Pool basketball
You can play similar to regular basketball and swim with the ball instead of dribbling it. Or you can play the classic game, HORSE. If you don’t have a basket, create one with a pool noodle. Cut it down the middle and fix it around a small, hole-filled basket with zip ties.
Simply toss a ball back and forth between the players without letting it touch the pool water or fall out of the pool. If a player misses, they’re out. Play until there’s one person left.
Top 3 games for adults
1. Pool pong
Set up a net (if you don’t have one, tie a rope from one end of the pool to the other). Put two players on each side with a paddle. Take turns scoring by making the other team miss returning the ping pong ball.
2. Pool volleyball
Stretch a net across your pool and form teams of up to 6 players on each side. Bump the volleyball back and forth. Add points every time the other team doesn’t return the ball after a serve. Play until one team reaches 11 points.
Place two people on a floaty (or two) and give each player a pool noodle. The goal of the game is to knock the other person off their floaty.
With these poolside games, your summer will be anything but boring! But if you want to access more ideas for swimming fun, download our Summer Poolside Bucket List below.